A Domain By Another Name Is Not as Sweet

by Christy Landriault (2-23-14)

Once you have made the crucial decision to get your business a new website you will need to decide on, and purchase a domain name.

No offense to the esteemed Mr. Shakespeare but he never had to deal with search engines. This is an important decision, and while sometimes there will be an obvious choice, other times you will need to be more creative to make sure that your profits are as sweet as they can be. If your business name isn’t available or descriptive enough, it is time to begin your domain hunt. A name for Fiona’s Bakery: For our purposes imagine we are looking for a name for fictional customer Fiona’s new baking venture focusing on all types of cakes.

Are there advantages to Keyword Rich Names? In the past, there were advantages to creating a name using as many of your desired keywords as possible. Today this practice is frowned on by the search engines unless it fits like a real name for your business. For our new bakery we are trying to secure a great domain name but one that won’t get us penalized with search engines. Our goal is to pick something that is easy to understand for both people and computers without going over the top. If I choose a name such as FionasCakes.com, it would be completely acceptable while FionasCakesMuffinsCookiesPiesBaking.com might come off as over the top. More importantly, the customer cannot remember it, and search engines will see it as total spam. Remember that we are primarily selling cakes here. We settle on FionasCakes.com and hold our breath as we enter it into the text box.


What if My Choice is Taken? FionasCakes.com sounds like the perfect domain name but what if it is already taken? After all, Fiona is a common name, and there are many bakeries online. If you find yourself in this type of situation talk with your webmaster, he or she should be able to help you find an appropriate and available domain name. If FionasCakes.com isn’t available, your webmaster may suggest something along the lines of FionasCakeshop.com. This name would still allow visitors and search engines to quickly identify what type of business you are in without abusing your main keywords, and it is more descriptive than our first choice.




Any time you’re unsure consult a professional. Search engines do enforce penalties in your search result ranking for actions that come across as “keyword stuffing,” so it’s best to pick a name that fits your branding and let the webmaster worry about getting the site seen with legitimate content, instead of spammy tricks.


One mistake that amateurs and professionals alike tend to make is that they try to save a small amount of money and avoid hiring help in these seemingly insignificant matters. Something like a domain name may seem inconsequential, but it can have a massive effect on your search engine optimization results potentially costing you thousands of dollars in revenue and increasing the cost and effort of marketing your website enormously. This is particularly futile when you consider that many companies like ours would only charge a very nominal fee for these services. If you need help picking a domain name and you are unsure you are much better off taking it to a professional for help than making a mistake that can cost your business revenue and drive up your expenses considerably.

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